NBA Game 2 Preview: Miami Heat at New York Knicks

May 2, 2023

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Game: Miami Heat @ New York Knicks

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Heat +6.5, Knicks -6.5

Total: 206.5

As they prepare for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight, the Miami Heat and the host New York Knicks are both concerned about injuries. With 5:05 left in the first game of the series, Heat star Jimmy Butler rolled his right ankle and fell to the floor after Josh Hart was called for a foul. Butler played the majority of the remaining minutes of Sunday’s game, helping eighth-seeded Miami capture Game 1, 108-101.

Butler is listed as questionable for tonight. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra realizes it’s tricky with ankle sprains. It will likely be a game-time decision for Spoelstra whether or not Butler plays. After tonight’s game, there are three days off before Game 3 on Saturday in Miami.

In Game 1 of the series, Butler notched team highs in points (25) and rebounds (11) in addition to four assists and two steals. In the playoffs, he is averaging 35.5 points per game, which is more than double his closest teammate. Bam Adebayo is second on the team averaging 17.2 points per game.

On the other side, the Knicks played without their leading scorer Julius Randle in Game 1. He was unable to start Game 1 due to a sprained left ankle. Game 5 of the first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers likely made the injury worse. In the regular season, Randle had team-best averages in points (25.1) and rebounds (10.0) while averaging 4.1 assists.

RJ Barrett finished with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in Game 1. Obi Toppin started in place of Randle. It didn’t help that the Knicks shot just 20.6 percent (7-for-34) from beyond the arc and were outscored 39-21 from three point range. In addition, New York went 8-of-20 from the free throw line.

Jalen Brunson, who averaged 24.0 points per game in the first round, finished with 25 points on Sunday. He took 23 shots and went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc, joining Barrett (1-for-5) and Hart (0-for-4) in their struggles. Brunson also had five turnovers for the Knicks.

For the Heat, Gabe Vincent had a strong night, making five of Miami’s 13 three-point attempts and scoring 20 points overall. Adebayo scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Heat, while Lowry contributed 18 points off the bench.

The Heat are now 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games. Miami went 9-9 this season when playing without Butler. They did win four of their last six without Butler. The Heat has also had great success against the Knicks winning 11 of the last 16 meetings.

The Knicks have won nine of their last 13 games and have been very good at home recently. New York is 12-4 SU in its last 16 games at the Garden. The Knicks went 3-2 this season when playing without Randle. He, along with Brunson, is listed as questionable.

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